Sometimes American meddling pays off

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The CIA subsidized politicians in Japan's Liberal Democratic Party in the 1950s, according to a document just released by the United States government, and reported by Japan's Kyodo News Agency. The LDP was and is the dominant political party of postwar Japan, a center—right coalition of powerful political figures.

Leftists in Japan had long charged that the LDP was a tool of American interests, and that only left wing socialists could rescue Japan from the evil grip of the warlike Yankees. I knew many Japanese leftists in the 1960s and 1970s, and the CIA tentacles enveloping the LDP were an artucle of faith for them. During the Cold War, many urban Japanese, in particular, were afraid of Japan being entangled in a nuclear confrontation between commuism and the West. Their delusion was that a peaceful and independent Japan would be bothered by no one.

They were wrong about the moral equivalence of the two sides in the Cold War and wrong about being left alone if unarmed. But they were right about Americans meddling in their politics. And in rerospect, that American meddling paid off handsomely for both countries.

The Japanese left has been largely eclipsed by Japan's extraordinary success as a peaceful, democratic, technological and economic superpower. The LDP is unquestionably due credit for helping transform Japan from a smoking ruin into a vibrant modern society providing great benefits to its citizens and to the world.

The LDP is far from a gathering of saints. It has many problems, as do Japanese politics as a whole. But it cannot be denied that the overall evolution of Japan has been in a favorable direction.

Japan's leftists, meanwhile, have earned my contempt over the years, and have drawn less support from voters as well. Socialism doesn't work. The commies were evil and de—facto surrender to them (permanent "co—existence") would hjave been a disaster. And I have little doubt about the extensiveness of communist infiltration in the Japanese left.

What ever happened to that competent component of the CIA?

Hat tip: China Challenges

Thomas Lifson  7 20 06

The CIA subsidized politicians in Japan's Liberal Democratic Party in the 1950s, according to a document just released by the United States government, and reported by Japan's Kyodo News Agency. The LDP was and is the dominant political party of postwar Japan, a center—right coalition of powerful political figures.

Leftists in Japan had long charged that the LDP was a tool of American interests, and that only left wing socialists could rescue Japan from the evil grip of the warlike Yankees. I knew many Japanese leftists in the 1960s and 1970s, and the CIA tentacles enveloping the LDP were an artucle of faith for them. During the Cold War, many urban Japanese, in particular, were afraid of Japan being entangled in a nuclear confrontation between commuism and the West. Their delusion was that a peaceful and independent Japan would be bothered by no one.

They were wrong about the moral equivalence of the two sides in the Cold War and wrong about being left alone if unarmed. But they were right about Americans meddling in their politics. And in rerospect, that American meddling paid off handsomely for both countries.

The Japanese left has been largely eclipsed by Japan's extraordinary success as a peaceful, democratic, technological and economic superpower. The LDP is unquestionably due credit for helping transform Japan from a smoking ruin into a vibrant modern society providing great benefits to its citizens and to the world.

The LDP is far from a gathering of saints. It has many problems, as do Japanese politics as a whole. But it cannot be denied that the overall evolution of Japan has been in a favorable direction.

Japan's leftists, meanwhile, have earned my contempt over the years, and have drawn less support from voters as well. Socialism doesn't work. The commies were evil and de—facto surrender to them (permanent "co—existence") would hjave been a disaster. And I have little doubt about the extensiveness of communist infiltration in the Japanese left.

What ever happened to that competent component of the CIA?

Hat tip: China Challenges

Thomas Lifson  7 20 06